PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

PinkBrown: Two Fish EP

Two Fish is a great indulgence, and you should drop your lure in the water and check these guys out.


Two Fish EP

Label: Self-released
US Release Date: 2014-09-08
UK Release Date: 2014-09-08

Vancouver’s PinkBrown is part of the backing band for Dan Mangan's Blacksmith, but they’re venturing out onto their own as PinkBrown. Comprising members Kenton Loewen and Gordon Grdina, it’s hard to describe the originality of this outfit. Is it post-rock? Maybe. Is it jazzy? Certainly. Does it bring the bluesy rock? Sure. In fact, while listening to the first song on their five-track EP Two Fish, which is also something of a title track as it is named “Two Fish in a Bucket”, I heard a little of what seemed to be Radiohead, particularly around the band’s Hail to the Thief era. The band’s publicity compares the group to fellow Canadians Death from Above 1979, as PinkBrown is just guitar and drums. (But no vocals.) However, these guys have nothing on the DFA crew. They are very much their own altered beast. Mathy, and yet wholly accessible, Two Fish is simply amazing. It may not be original, but it feels original and as though it exists on its own plane. It’s rocky, jazzy and even psychedelic, particularly on final track “Barrel Fire”, which features a very Jimi Hendrix-like guitar workout that will stop you dead in your tracks.

The only quibble I have -- and it’s very, very, minor -- is that the nearly six-minute track “Gaza” is a bit of a slow burn and isn’t really quite like the other material, which is fast and breakneck. However, it’s still strong, and the use of a bowed guitar that sounds like a violin causes me to draw a line over to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Yet, even though there are all of these reference points to other (great) bands, the Two Fish EP is really something. It feels new, and certainly is a garden path that not many groups have gone down in the past. It definitely whets the appetite for the debut LP, which is due in 2015. This is really outstanding stuff, and twists and turns in its own way. While this style of music might not be for everyone, it is yet not impenetrable. With some nods to metal, even, PinkBrown show diversity in their styles and are that rare breed that can take their influences, put it into a blender, and mash the purée button. The end result is a wholly digestible concoction and one that should, no doubt, earn these guys a devoted fanbase without Mangan’s help. Should these guys be content to take the spotlight on their own, and move away from being part of a backing group, their success is more than assured. Two Fish is a great indulgence, and you should drop your lure in the water and check these guys out.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.


Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.


Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.


In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.


The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.


The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.


The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.


When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.


20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.


The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.


Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.


Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."


50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.


Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.


The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.


Bad Wires Release a Monster of a Debut with 'Politics of Attraction'

Power trio Bad Wires' debut Politics of Attraction is a mix of punk attitude, 1990s New York City noise, and more than a dollop of metal.


'Waiting Out the Storm' with Jeremy Ivey

On Waiting Out the Storm, Jeremy Ivey apologizes for present society's destruction of the environment and wonders if racism still exists in the future and whether people still get high and have mental health issues.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.